Lawsuit alleges civil rights violations at Cameron County Sheriff’s Office

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A sergeant with the Cameron County Sheriff’s Office accused the county’s top law enforcement official and his assistant of violating his civil rights in a lawsuit filed last week.

In the lawsuit, Sgt. Rodrigo Almanza accused Cameron County Sheriff Eric Garza and Deputy Executive Director Robert Gracia of violating his right of freedom of political expression after he was allegedly punished multiple times for showing support for former county Sheriff Omar Lucio.

When reached for comment, Garza declined to comment, citing personnel matters.

Almanza's attorney, David Willis, released the following statement:

The lawsuit filed on Rodrigo Almanza's behalf is straightforward. The Constitution prohibits public employers from taking adverse personnel actions against an employee for supporting a political candidate. There is no reason why this case should not come to a quick resolution.

The case is expected to be taken up in federal court in June.


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